Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bizarre facts-Ancient Chinese tradition

The photograph below is of a male Eunich.

A eunuch is a castrated man; the term usually refers to those castrated in order to perform a specific social function, as was common in many societies of the past.

In ancient China castration was both a traditional punishment (until the Sui Dynasty) and a means of gaining employment in the Imperial service.

At the end of the Ming Dynasty there were 70,000 eunuchs in the Imperial palace.

The value of such employment—certain eunuchs gained immense power that may have superseded that of the prime ministers—was such that self-castration had to be made illegal. The number of eunuchs in Imperial employ had fallen to 470 in 1912, when their employment ceased. Eunuchs castrated before puberty were also valued and trained in several cultures for their exceptional voices, which retained a childlike and other-worldly flexibility and treble pitch.
Such eunuchs were known as castrati. Unfortunately the choice had to be made at an age when the boy would not yet be able to consciously choose whether to sacrifice his sexual potency, and there was no guarantee that the voice would remain of musical excellence after the operation.



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